Columbia Tomorrow program to hold town hall event Thursday

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 | 3:10 p.m. CDT; updated 10:11 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 16, 2009

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Tomorrow project will hold a town meeting Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Fred W. Smith Auditorium at the Reynolds Journalism Institute to improve the system in which the public is informed about future plans for Columbia. 

The event, which is free to the public, is being organized by Matt Thompson, a 2008-2009 Donald W. Reynolds Fellow and creator of the Columbia Tomorrow project. Thompson said he’s looking to provide a “comprehensive resource” for Columbia residents to become informed of how the city is growing and changing.

He wants to provide more context to online journalism and hopes his Web site, which will be officially unveiled Thursday, can deliver that context.

“A veteran journalist I admire has said that a good news organization must serve three functions in its community — town expert, town square and town crier,” Thompson said.

Thompson said most news sites decently provide the "town crier" function, but still have a lot of work to do on the other two.

“I hope Columbia Tomorrow really helps us fulfill the town expert role,” Thompson said, “and I hope Thursday’s event serves as an extension of the town square.”

Mayor Darwin Hindman, Boone County Commissioner Karen Miller and Planning Department Director Tim Teddy will be on hand to discuss growth and development in Columbia and interact with the audience in a question and answer format. 

The Reynolds Journalism Institute is located on Ninth Street downtown, across the street from The Heidelberg. The auditorium holds more than 80 people.

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